UK HealthCare

‘UK at the Half’: Learn About the Markey STRONG Program

Students from this year's Markey STRONG Scholars Program photographed July 30, 2021.
Students from this year's Markey STRONG Scholars Program photographed July 30, 2021.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 23, 2021) — For this “UK at the Half,” Kathleen O’Connor, Ph.D., researcher and associate director of cancer education and mentoring at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, and current UK senior and program participant, Daniela Nakinoja, discuss the value of the Markey STRONG Scholars program to foster diversity in cancer research.

The Markey STRONG Scholars program was created by the UK Markey Cancer Center in 2021. The 10-week program aims to provide career and professional development for college sophomores, juniors and seniors who are interested in cancer research and who come from historically underserved or underrepresented ethnic and racial backgrounds.

Program participants gain valuable experiences that will help them further their future medical careers, with personalized, one-on-one research experiences with cancer mentors and near-peer mentors, interactive cancer research lectures from Markey faculty and trainees, clinical shadowing experiences with Markey oncology specialists, and networking and career development activities with Markey faculty and trainees.

“UK at the Half” airs during halftime of each UK football and basketball game broadcast on the radio and is hosted by UK Public Relations and Marketing. To hear the “UK at the Half” interview, click the play button above.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.